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Tag: terrorism

FBI Probes Rash of Intentional Cuts to San Francisco Area’s Fiber Optic Cable

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to determine whether a series of deliberate cuts of fiber optic cable in the San Francisco area are related and were intended to be an act of terrorism.

IDG News Service reports that telecom cables were intentionally cut in Fremont, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Berkeley and San Jose 10 times over four separate nights.

“We are hoping for anybody that has seen anything out of the ordinary,” FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich said. The perpetrators may have worn uniforms to make themselves look like workers, “so even if it looked like normal uniforms, we’d like to hear so we can vet them out.”

FBI Accused of Using No-Fly List to Coerce Muslims into Becoming Informants

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is accused of removing people from the no-fly list in exchange for becoming informants.

Al Jazeera America reports that four law-abiding Muslim men were removed from the no-fly list just days before a federal district court in New York hears their case.

According to their lawsuit, Tanvir v. Lynch, the no-fly list is used to coerce Muslims to become informants.

“The fact that the government has confirmed that all four of our clients now can fly really affirms our claims in this lawsuit that the only reason they were ever on a no-fly list is … they were refusing to be informants. There was never any valid reason for their placement,” said Diala Shamas, a senior staff attorney at CLEAR (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility) at the City University of New York School of Law, which brought the lawsuit along with the Center for Constitutional Rights and Debevoise & Plimpton.

The lawsuit alleges Muhammed Tanvir, of New York City, was barred from flying after he refused to become an informant. Then agents offered to remove him if he helped provide information.

“Had Mr. Tanvir actually presented a threat to aviation safety, [FBI agent Sanya] Garcia would not and could not have offered to remove Mr. Tanvir from the list merely in exchange for his willingness to become an informant,” the suit states.

 

Kansas Man Pleads Guilty to Trying to Blow Up Bomb at Airport

Terry Lee Loewen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Kansas man pleaded guilty Monday to attempting to detonate a card bomb at the Wichita airport.

Terry Lee Loewen, 59, caught the attention of authorities on social media after he began expressing support for violent jihad.

He pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Authorities arrested Loewen in December 2013 after he entered Wichita Mid-Continental Airport.

“Terry Loewen utilized his privileged airport access to attempt a terrorist attack in Wichita,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “Detecting, disrupting and holding accountable those who wish to harm Americans remains our highest priority.”

Loewen began meeting with an FBI informant who posed as an extremists.

Growing Cases of Extremism Is Draining FBI Resources Nationwide

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is using several dozen surveillance teams to track criminal suspects around-the-clock nationwide, USA Today reports. 

Comey said the surge of cases involving extremism is taking a toll on the bureau’s resources, noting that each of the bureau’s 56 field offices is investigating suspected violent extremists.

One suspect who required around-the-clock attention was Usaamah Ramim, who authorities said planned to attack police with military knives in Boston.

“This guy (Rahim) required 24/7 surveillance,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said. “We thought the threat was severe enough that we had to approach him.”

Rahim was shot by investigators after they said he lunged at them with a knife.

FBI: Apple And Google Are Assisting Terrorists with Privacy Tecnhology

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Are Apple and Google the bad guys?

A senior FBI official told a Congressional committee that the technology giants are aiding terrorists by offering users encrypted communications, a senior FBI officials told the House Homeland Security Committee, The Register reports.

Michael Steinbach, assistant director in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, said the federal government should bar the companies from offering encrypted communication, a move that IT experts and even some members of Congress said would make the technology vulnerable to hackers.

Steinbach said terrorists are eluding detection using the encryption technology.

“Privacy above all other things, including safety and freedom from terrorism, is not where we want to go,” Steinbach said. “We’re not looking at going through a back door or being nefarious.”

 Other Stories of Interest


Proecutors: Terrorism Suspect in Boston Planned to Kill Police with Knives

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Not long before a 26-year-old terrorism suspect was fatally shot Tuesday during a scuffle with FBI agents and Boston police, he told a friend that he wanted to randomly kill police officers and bought three combat knives on Amazon.com, the Washington Post reports.

A criminal complaint filed against Usaamah Abdullah Rahim alleges he even wanted to behead an unknown person in a different state.

The complaint asserts that Rahim and two other men plotted the killing of police officers while they were visiting Rhode Island.

One of the suspects has been questioned but not identified. The other, David Wright, of Everest, Mass., was charged Tuesday with conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Local Police Help FBI Keep Tabs on Growing Number of Terrorism Suspects

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is struggling to keep track of what appears to be a growing network of ISIS supporters who blend in until the time comes to attack.

CNN reports that then NYPD and other local law enforcement agencies are pitching in to search for and investigate ISIS supporters.

The most recent failure came when a known ISSI supporter who was under investigation by the FBI attacked a Prophet Mohammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas.

FBI Director James Comey said the FBI keeps its eye on hundreds of suspects.

Some NYPD officers who have already been trained in surveillance will help keep track of suspects.

The goal is to add 450 officers to the department’s counterterrorism unit, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said. LAPD also is following suit.

“It’s an extraordinarily difficult challenge task to find — that’s the first challenge — and then assess those who may be on a journey from talking to doing and to find and assess in an environment where increasingly, as the attorney general said, their communications are unavailable to us even with court orders,” Comey said.

TSA Whistleblower Reinstated After Supreme Court Defends His Actions

tsa.gov

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A TSA air marshal who was fired for telling the media about the impact on budget cuts has been reinstated after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Robert MacLean was a justified whistleblower.

The USA Today reports that MacLean, who flew undercover to thwart terrorism, told MSNBC in 2003 that the TSA was reducing the number of marshals on overnight flights, a plan that drew harsh criticism from Congress.

Even though TSA reversed its decision, MacLean was terminated for disclosing “sensitive security information.”

In arriving at the ruling, the justices said whistle-blower protections in this case trumped bans on disclosing sensitive information.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in MacLean’s favor.

Other Stories of Interest